Roma have leapfrogged Liverpool into pole position to sign Barcelona outcast Thomas Vermaelen according to Italian news reports.
Unfortunately things have not gone as planned for Thomas Vermaelen, who looks all but certain to leave Barcelona after a string of clubs come calling. His time in Barcelona may have blessed him with hot weather, nice beaches and playing at one of the world’s most sunning stadium, but the Belgian defender has struggled to get minutes in Spain.
Liverpool were the original favourites to sign the ex-Arsenal man but have failed in their attempt to prize the want-away defender away from Barcelona. The Italian club are on the hunt for an new centre back to partner new signing Juan Jesus who arrives at the capital from Inter Milan.
Vermaelen has featured just 21 times for the Blaugrana in his two years in Spain, scoring once, in a 1-0 win over Malaga at the start of last season. Considering Barcelona ended up winning the league by a single point, technically Vermaelen can always say his vital goal in the Malaga win may have won them the league.
Liverpool were rumoured to have bid around £8m for the 30-year-old but was rejected by Barcelona back in Spring, and thus turned their attentions to the signing of Joel Matip from Schalke.
The Belgian defender helped his national side at this years European Championships despite his lack of game-time for Barcelona, playing in all but one games for Belgium, missing the quarter-final defeat to Wales.